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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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August 19,1970

Posted 06-17-2017 at 11:22 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-25-2018 at 09:49 PM by TommyJohn

August 19, 1970
vs. Boston Red Sox
at Fenway Park

The quaint internet phrase '***' was decades away from becoming a thing. However, I suspect that more than one fan of the 1970 Red Sox (and perhaps the players themselves) were shouting the full phrase that those initials stand for more than once while watching their team play the White Sox.

First, there was the 22-13 massacre at Fenway at the end of May. Boston rooters got a bit of satisfaction when their team beat Pale Sox two weeks later, thanks in part to Rico Petrocelli's off-the-glove grand slam.

Then there was the Wednesday matinee on August 19, played on Boston's most Sacred Ground on a pleasant summer day. 17,000 fans came out to see the Red Sox beat up on the losers from Chicago, who were slumbering snugly in the basement of the AL West. Boston had already taken the first two of the three game set and took the field seeking a sweep.

At first it looked like a safe bet. The Red Sox took a 5-2 lead on Tommy John, thanks in part to Tony Conigliaro, who drove in two of the five runs. Bill Melton had given the White Sox a quick 1-0 lead with his 23rd home run in the 1st inning, but Boston quickly erased it and had their lead as they trotted out for the top of the 9th. Ray Culp went out to the mound to finish off the White Sox and earn the complete game win. And, in the words of another badly overused internet phrase, you won't believe what happened next:

WHITE SOX 9TH: YASTRZEMSKI STAYED IN GAME (PLAYING 1B); Melton singled to third; Herrmann reached on a fielder's choice [Melton to second]; Blanco singled to right [Melton scored, Herrmann to third]; Berry singled to right [Herrmann scored, Blanco to second]; WAGNER REPLACED CULP (PITCHING); Knoop reached on a fielder's choice [Blanco to third, Berry to second (error by Scott)]; HOPKINS BATTED FOR MORALES; LYLE REPLACED WAGNER (PITCHING); APARICIO BATTED FOR HOPKINS; Aparicio doubled to left [Blanco scored, Berry scored, Knoop to third]; Wood singled to right [Knoop scored (unearned), Aparicio scored, Wood to second (error by B. Conigliaro)]; HARTENSTEIN REPLACED LYLE (PITCHING); O'Brien struck out; May was walked intentionally; Melton singled to left [Wood to third, May to second]; Herrmann singled to center [Wood scored, May scored, Melton to third]; PHILLIPS REPLACED HARTENSTEIN (PITCHING); Blanco hit a sacrifice fly to center [Melton scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher)]; Berry singled [Herrmann to third]; Knoop singled to left [Herrmann scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher), Berry to second]; Aparicio singled to center [Berry scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher), Knoop to second]; Wood made an out to shortstop; 11 R (10 ER), 10 H, 2 E, 2 LOB. White Sox 13, Red Sox 5.

The Retrosheet.org summary tells the story-the last place White Sox decided against adding another loss to their considerable tally and erupted for 11 runs in the top of the 9th. The offensive explosion tied a record for most runs in a 9th inning (set by the Yankees in 1951 vs. the Browns).

The Red Sox put up token resistance in their half, with a couple of hits, but both runners were quickly erased, the last one being the final out of the game. The White Sox had turned a sure 5-2 loss into a resounding 13-5 win.

The White Sox trotted to the mound to congratulate winning pitcher Wilbur Wood, who had relieved John two innings earlier. The dazed Red Sox walked back to their clubhouse muttering '***' or some variation thereof, under their collective breath.

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